An update on All At Sea
The fanzine has now been going for 12 years during which time our readership has remained almost constant despite a social media revolution and through fluctuating Roots Hall attendances. It is an unescapable fact that there have been lots of changes in that time. Social media and the internet has led to people being able to have the latest news on their club instantly and to be able to pontificate with haste on whatever platform they feel comfortable, be it message board, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Nobody knows more about this than us – we have most than 2,000 Twitter followers but only sell around 300 copies of the zine every issue!
The role of the fanzine, born in the mid-80s when supporters had no other way of expressing their distaste at developments in the game, has changed and the emphasis has shifted from anger and rebellion to quality, long-form passionate writing. Dozens of top quality zines are still around and can be seen at Doncaster (Popular Stand), Bradford (City Gent), Leyton Orient (Orientear), Barnsley (West Stand Bogs) and many more. While many have fallen by the wayside, the death of the fanzine as a genre, predicted various times since dial-up internet first emerged in the late 1990s, has never emerged. Some, like When Skies are Grey (Everton) have gone fully online, but we have always been reluctant to take this step, we feel it does not work as well for smaller clubs like Southend United.
We still believe that quality long-form writing, absent from message boards, tabloid newspapers and most football websites, impossible on social media, is the future for the football fanzine. At All At Sea we believe we have filled that gap in the market well enough over the past decade or so. People also like something physical in their hands that they can read on the train or in the pub, we don’t think that will change.
The editorial team and many of our regular contributors are now in their mid-thirties. As time goes by, responsibilities gradually smother the opportunities for pre-match pub time and away matches. We no longer find ourselves in the middle of the back-of-the-stand group of singers, generating the atmosphere and setting the pace on away days. That role has been assumed by a new generation now. They are the future and they should be the ones telling the stories. Even if they do tend to wear skinny jeans, say ‘literally’ a lot and drink sub-standard lager.
A new issue will hopefully be out for the Coventry game and we’d love to see some new contributors come forward with impassioned Southend United-related articles. It could be memories, opinion, the write-up of a memorable away day, humorous, as long as it is connected to SUFC, we don’t mind. We think that everyone has an article in them. If you’d like to send us something, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re happy to guide you if you’re not sure about whether something is suitable. The deadline is Monday, 5 December but if you can get stuff to us earlier, we’d be grateful.
Thanks again to you all for your patience and your continued support of the fanzine.